Venetia Butterfield over at the Penguin blog via Jacket Flap has been chatting about creating blurbs. Now, her job is to write all that delightful jacket copy that we the readers use to decide if we’re going to read a book. Sometimes that copy is an excellent representation, sometimes you read copy (not hers I’m sure) that’s so off from the actual book that you wonder if the person who wrote it read a single page of the book.

Now, since I work at significantly smaller operations that Penguin, I have to write the blurbs for the books I edit myself. It’s a vexing, difficult job. You have to write enough to entice the reader, but not enough to give the story away. You can’t be misleading. It’s much harder than writing a review since you can’t give an opinion. (And admitedly, what I post on this site can only loosely be termed a “review.”) And since I generally like, if not downright love, my books, my opinion is a bit biased anyway.

Occassionally, though, I find that someone else, namely the author, writes a better blurb for the book in question. So, I thought I’d show 3 blurbs for 3 different books. I wrote one of them, and the authors wrote the other 2. You’re challenge: which one did I write? Which one is your favorite? Which one is my favorite? I’m putting them in order of the books’ publication date.

  • Bad Girls Club (no relation to the TV show)
    Book releases in Spring of 2007 (Ok, so I can’t remember the date off the top of my head, and I’m to lazy to open my calendar.)
    Destiny has a secret. She’s been told not to tell anyone what happened to her, her mom, and her little sister at Crater Lake. She also can’t tell anyone that sometimes her sister is covered in bruises. Her friends all want her to report her parents, but Destiny won’t tell the school counselor. If she does, it could cost her little sister’s life or possibly her own. When the secret becomes too much to carry and the truth she knows becomes a lie, Destiny has to make a decision. Will she fi nd the strength to speak the truth or will she drown in the lies? Will she discover her own worth and the voice she needs to cry it out, or will she remain what her mother has always called her — a bad girl?
  • From the Desk of Septina Nash: The Penguins of Doom
    Book releases on 7/7/07
    Dear Reader,
    In order to make this book I had to escape from a mad scientist, adopt a trio of wild penguins, become an Olympic freestyle skateboarder, collect a whole bunch of empty yogurt containers, and fi nd my missing tripletsister. In order to enjoy it, all you have to do is read every page.
    Thanks for doing your part!
    Septina Nash,
    Main Character
  • Knowing Joseph
    Book releases in the Fall of 2007 (again I can’t remember the date)
    Brian would give anything to have a normal nine year-old brother — one that doesn’t scream, that normal sounds are not too loud for, or just a brother who would play with other kids. But no matter how often he pretends not to know him, Brian has to face that he doesn’t have a normal brother. He has Joseph, his autistic brother.
    Life with Joseph isn’t easy. Joseph needs order and structure, which is something other kids find weird. Brian connstantly finds himself defending Joseph from kids that understand Joseph even less than Brian does. It takes a new friend and a school project before Brian can begin to truly know Joseph.
© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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